March is Women’s History Month, and the first book that I will be reading for that is Jacquelyn Grant’s White Women’s Christ and Black Women’s Jesus. In this post, I’d like to feature two quotes. The first quote is from the preface:
“The theology of somebodiness, which [my parents] lived out without pretension, conveyed to their children that inspite of the world’s denial of you, Jesus (God) affirms you. So you must go on…Hence, the personal commitment I made to Jesus as a youngster was not one that restricted me as a Black person or as a female, but affirmed me and projected me into areas where, I later learned, ‘I was not supposed to go’ by virtue of my race and gender.”
I like this quote because it highlights that Dr. Brown is a person of faith. She can look at religion academically—and she argues that people have different images of Jesus, based in part on their backgrounds. And yet, she has a personal faith.
Second, on page 16, Dr. Grant quotes a resolution by the Christian apology contingent of the 1885 Annual Convention of the National Women Suffrage Association. It stated:
“WHEREAS, The dogmas incorporated in religious creeds derived from Judaism, teaching that woman was an after-thought in the creation, her sex a misfortune, marriage a condition of subordination, and maternity a curse, are contrary to the law of God (as revealed in nature), and to the precepts of Christ, and WHEREAS, These dogmas are an insidious poison, sapping the vitality of our civilization, blighting woman, and, through her, paralyzing humanity; therefore be it Resolved, That we call on the Christian ministry, as leaders of thought, to teach and enforce the fundamental idea of creation, that man was made in the image of God, male and female, and given equal rights over the earth, but none over each other. And, furthermore, we ask their recognition of the scriptural declaration that, in the Christian religion, there is neither male nor female, bond nor free, but all are one in Christ Jesus.”
Dr. Grant characterizes this position to be “that essentially, the problem regarding women is not with Christianity or the Bible, but with distortion of them.”
I’m not sure, though. Maybe this resolution takes a Phyllis Trible sort of approach to Genesis 2-3, reading it in a manner that is not sexist. But it could be saying that God’s law revealed in nature contradicts the sexism of Genesis 2-3, and we should go with nature, in this case. This overlaps with Dr. Grant’s discussion in this chapter on the source of theology: Should it be the Bible, or can the experience of the oppressed be a source of theology? And this reminds me of a post by Elizabeth, whose blog I read fairly regularly. Elizabeth said: “I believe the Bible is inspired by God and that it contains a lot of beneficial insight for understanding God. I also believe that the entire world is inspired by God, which I think means, God-breathed.”